If you are like most people, the family vacation had to be put on hold. This is due to the economy and the fact that one or more of your kids had to attend summer school.
No need to fret. I have the prefect summer Staycation that the entire family can enjoy while taken in the great culture that Los Angeles has to offer. This staycation features a plethora of world class music that will only cost you a tank of gas and perhaps a small parking fee.
As I'm writing this the song by James Taylor comes to mind "Summer Is Here." I'm sure that you know the lyrics to this song. I want to share with you, your family, friends, neighbors and visiting relatives a series of FREE!!! Summer Music Concerts throughout greater Los Angeles that is very popular with locals and tourists as well.
All of these events are outdoors in a park, plaza, or on or near the pier. You will need to bring a beach chairs for the venues that don't provide seating, or if you don't arrive early enough to grab a seat. You can also bring a picnic basket or have dinner at one of the nice restaurants surrounding the various concert venues.
These concerts are geared towards families; feel free to invite your neighbors and your babysitter to enjoy an eclectic mix of world music. You can impress your date with your taste in music or entertain out of town guest six days a week with these concerts. Please check with your local transit agency to see if you can arrive at the venues by bus, or if you live nearby you can walk or take a bicycle.
Now that I've built up your anticipation to a feverish level. Here are some series, you may know of others that I've missed. Get ready to get your groove on.
Fans of Latin music are in for a treat the week of July 14th-19th, 2009. The series at Hollywood and Highland is a popular attraction with tourist arriving from all over the world. Locals know to arrive early to get a seat for this series or bring their own chairs. Bobby Matos and His Latin Jazz Ensemble will perform on Tuesday, July 14th. www.hollywoodandhighland.com
MacArthur Park is another popular series. I have to admit that I've never attended this series before. I'm impressed with the line-up. This venue has music on multiple days of the week. Wednesday, July 15th features more hot Latin Sounds of La Charanga Cubana. www.levittLA.org; www.laparks.org/dos/parks/pdf/levitt_concerts.pdf
The Salsa dancers of Los Angeles have a tough choice to make for Thursday, July 16th. The City of Santa Monica is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Pier this year as well as the 25th Anniversary of the Twilight Dance Series. July 16th, will feature Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca for a set of Afro-Cuban/Salsa Music on the Santa Monica Pier. www.santamonicapier.org. Click on Things to do then Twilight Dance Series. Another wonderful option for salsa dancers is the Sizzling Summer Sounds at the Autry Museum with Orchestra Son Mayor.www.autrynationalcenter.org/event_calendar/all.
If you haven't worn out your dancing shoes by now, please head over to California Plaza on Friday, at 12 noon to hear Justo Almario Afro-Colombian Ensemble.Your co-workers will look at you in a different light seeing you dance to the infectious Colombian rhythms to burn off calories from your lunch. www.granderformances.org. These concerts are held at different times and on various days.
Saturday, July 18th offers three options that you can probably catch two of the three if you play your cards right. First, you can head over to Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the Latin Sounds Summer Concert Series to catch Los Compadres for a couple of hours. www.lacma.org/programs/musicprograms.aspx. You may also want to bookmark or make note of the Friday Night Jazz Series at this same venue. Saturday, July 18th has two good options. One is Albita-the Grammy ÔÇôwinning singer from Cuba at California Plaza part of the Grand Performances. www.grandperformances.org. The other option depending on your musical taste is located down the hill from California Plaza at Pershing Square featuring classic Latin sounds of El Chicano and Upground. This venue features different music on various days of the week. www.laparks.org/pershingsquare; www.laparks.org/calendar/yrcalendar.html.
Your feet are probably hot at this moment since you have burnt a hole in the soles of your shoes. Don't fret; another popular series is happening at Universal City Walk called City Walk Summer Block Party. A different genre of music is featured on one of the four nights. Sunday, July 19th, features more exciting Latin music. Scroll down the screen to see the different links for music at this series of concerts www.citywalkhollywood.com.
Following is links to additional Summer Music Series all around Los Angeles and in the South Bay.
City of Manhattan Beach- Concerts in the Park is held on every Sunday. www.citymb.info One show that is not to be missed is La Palabra on August 2nd.
Farmers Market Concert Series- www.farmersmarketla.com. A couple of shows to look forward too are Karen Hernandez and Rudy Regalado.
Skirball Cultural Center- Sunset Concert Series- July 16th with Issa Bagayogo from Mali. www.skriball.org.
City of Torrance-Wild Wednesday's! Every other Wednesday www.torranceLive.us or www.torrnet.com/events July 22nd-Yari More, August 5th-Conjunto Jardin and close out the series with Francisco Aguabella on August 19th.